Endovascular mechanical thrombectomy in basilar artery occlusion: variables affecting recanalization and outcome

J Neurol. 2016 Apr;263(4):707-13. doi: 10.1007/s00415-016-8047-x. Epub 2016 Feb 12.


Ischemic stroke due to basilar artery occlusion (BAO) is frequently associated with a poor prognosis. To date the most effective therapeutic approach has not been established and little is known about the predictors of clinical outcome. The aim of this study was to describe safety and efficacy of intra-arterial mechanical thrombectomy (IAMT) through latest generation devices in patients with BAO, focusing on those variables that may affect recanalization and clinical outcome. We analyzed retrospectively a series of 32 patients with BAO who underwent IAMT. We assessed the association of some clinical and neuroradiological features with recanalization rate and clinical outcome. Successful recanalization was achieved in 28 out of 32 patients (87.5 %). Symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (SICH) was observed in 2/32 patients (6.3 %) and mortality in the first 3 months was 25.0 %. At 3-month follow up evaluation, 13/32 patients (40.6 %) showed a good functional outcome (mRS score ≤2). There were no statistical differences in term of age, gender, risk factors, cause of stroke, recanalization rate, pre-treatment pc-ASPECTS score and SICH frequencies between patients with favorable and unfavorable outcome. Increased length of thrombi was associated with unfavorable clinical outcome at 3 months. Recanalization rate was not affected by any of the variables considered. In BAO, IAMT through newest generation devices has high recanalization rates and low complication frequencies. Length of BAO is an important predictor of clinical outcome.

Keywords: Acute ischemic stroke; Basilar artery; Endovascular thrombectomy; Stroke treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / surgery*
  • Basilar Artery / pathology
  • Basilar Artery / surgery
  • Endovascular Procedures / adverse effects
  • Endovascular Procedures / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thrombectomy / adverse effects
  • Thrombectomy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency / surgery*